Tony Northrup launched a poll, where people voted which images they considered had the best colors.
He starts off analysing, if we just think a certain camera has the best colors because of brand loyalty.
So what he did is the following: sometimes he labeled pictures with numbers, and sometimes he put the fake brand names on the same images that don’t even match up to the pictures.
Canon has the highest brand loyalty. Canon users picked an image 3.1 times more likely if marked with “Canon” than with a number, even though it was not a Canon image
Fujifilm 1.4x – the lowest brand loyalty. Tony says “maybe Fujifilm users are the most rational people“
92% of people picked a different image when numbered or marked with brand name, showing that there was no consistency.
Interestingly, the most popular image when it was numbered (the Nr.1) suddenly became the least popular, when Tony wrote “Fujifilm” on it, even though it was exactly the same picture. It seems there is a lot of hate for Fujifilm by Sony, Canon and Nikon users out there.
Tony speculates that this is because Fujifilm users tend to be the meanest of all and can be very hostile, and kind of give “the whole brand a bad name“.
On the contrary, Fujifilm users downvoted only Sony, and not Canon and Nikon, which tells us about the brand rivalry.
Then back to the colors. He says “fake colors” are ok. People don’t upvote the most realistic colors, which is normal. In one example, the Nikon got the colors completely wrong, much to warm, and people voted it the best.
Color science is overblown, because if you see pictures individually, they are just fine. But photographers tend to compare.
White balance is more important than color science. When he adjusted white balance in post, results where much more balanced.
Tony says he adjusts colors in post anyway, so he never really cared much about “color science”.
I hope I will not pass for hostile and mean if I point this out, but what about film simulations?
Fujifilm is renown and loved for its color science, not because they created the universal profile that is best for everything, but because they offer the film simulations, which are created to give the best results in different shooting situations or to create a certain mood. Velvia for landscapes, Astia for skin tones, Acros for black and white, Classic Chrome for a vintage touch and when the story should stand out more than the colors, Sepia for nothing ;) etc…
And while I get the point that you can change colors in post, if the camera itself offers you a great starting point, then you simply have less work to do in post, which can save you a lot of time. We should not underestimate the value of passing less time on the computer editing images ;).
Back in August, Tony and Chelsea Northrup have posted their thoughts about the so-called mirrorless war, where they basically predicted success for full frame, and said Fujifilm will remain a niche product, because it’s only APS-C and they don’t have super fast glass to match full frame DOF. You can see the summary of the video here.